S. Korea Buys Less Oil

S. Korea Buys Less OilS. Korea Buys Less Oil

South Korea's crude oil shipments from Iran slid 62.2% in December from a year ago, with imports in full-year 2015 falling 8% from 2014 in accordance with sanction requirements over Tehran's nuclear program.

The world's fifth-largest crude importer brought 207,629 tons of Iranian crude in December, or 49,094 barrels per day, compared with 548,598 tons a year ago, preliminary data from its customs office showed on Friday, Reuters reported.

South Korea, along with other major Iranian crude buyers, should import the crude no more than the level imported in 2014 under the sanctions imposed on Tehran against its nuclear program.

The South Korean customs data showed Seoul bought 5.7 million tons, or 114,595 bpd, of crude from Tehran in 2015, down 8% from 6.2 million tons, or 124,497 bpd, in 2014.

South Korea's crude oil import data usually include condensates, without giving a breakdown.

Among South Korea's four refiners, SK Energy Co Ltd and Hyundai Oilbank Co Ltd import oil from Iran. Their imports typically swing from month to month. Overall, Seoul imported 13.4 million tons of crude last month, or 3.2 million bpd, up 23.5% from 10.8 million tons a year ago. Final data for December imports with more details will be available from state-run Korea National Oil Corp later this month.